This Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower is the perfect side dish that pairs well with just about any protein! The spiced florets are tender with perfectly caramelized edges, and blanketed in crisp and savory melted Parmesan cheese, and the whole thing is ready in about 30 minutes.
This is one of my Side Dish recipes I know you’ll want to keep on hand!
Cauliflower gets a bad rap… for being turned into other things (mashed cauliflower or cauliflower pizza crust anyone?), and for being bland.
But if you’ve never tried roasting it, you simply have to give it a shot!
It wasn’t until I roasted cauliflower that I realized how amazing those little white florets could taste! So savory and full of flavor, with slightly charred edges and crispy tops.
In fact, I pretty much love to roast all kinds of vegetables now! Roasting brings out any natural sweetness, as well as concentrates the flavor of the vegetable. Plus, those crispy, charred edges just call to me.
How to make parmesan roasted cauliflower?
This is just an overview; the full ingredients and directions are in the recipe card toward the bottom of this post.
- Combine spices and oil. The best way to ensure the spices and oil evenly coat the cauliflower is to combine the two.
- Coat cauliflower. Evenly pour the oil mixture over the florets and toss to combine well.
- First roast. This first roast is what cooks the cauliflower most of the way through.
- Add cheese and roast again. Waiting to add the cheese until the second roast ensures that it gets melty with crisp edges instead of hard and burnt.
I’ve shared the cooking time that my oven takes to cook cauliflower florets of the size shown in the photos. However, all ovens cook a little differently, and larger florets will take longer to cook (and smaller ones will take less time to cook). So please use the cooking time as an approximation, and keep an eye on your veggies. You’re looking for a golden brown color, and that they can be pierced easily with a fork.
Variations of this recipe
- Cauliflower – for this recipe you can use pre-cut florets, or buy a head of cauliflower and cut it into florets yourself.
- Oil – I typically use olive oil, but if you would prefer, you could use vegetable or avocado oil instead.
- Spices – if you’d like to play around with the spices used, please feel free.
- Garlic – try adding a few cloves of minced garlic to the oil and spices to really change up the flavor.
- Cheese – I highly recommend using a block of Parmesan and grating your own cheese (the flavor and meltability are unmatched), but in a pinch you can use pre-shredded/pre-grated.
- Other cooking methods – I haven’t tested this recipe in an air fryer, and while I’m sure it could be done, my only concern is the melted cheese (that would make quite the mess in the basket). You could try using a cut piece of parchment paper, adding it after the air fryer has preheated. My best guess would be to cook at 390°F for about 7 minutes, then sprinkle with the cheese and cook another 3-4 minutes.
The main reason for roasted vegetables being mushy rather than crisp is that the baking sheet was overcrowded. When there’s not enough room between the florets, instead of roasting, they sort of steam in the oven.
Absolutely! This spice mixture goes well with other vegetables like broccoli, asparagus, squash, potatoes, carrots, etc. Keep in mind that different vegetables will likely need different cooking times.
Making roasted cauliflower ahead of time
This recipe for cauliflower tastes best when it’s fresh and hot from the oven, like most roasted foods.
However, you can definitely do some things to cut down on your hands-on time.
How to prep ahead for this recipe:
- Cauliflower – the cauliflower can be cut into florets ahead of time and kept refrigerated. If you are using pre-cut florets, you can obviously skip this prep step.
- Spices/oil – the spices can be combined with the oil and kept in an airtight container at room temperature.
- Cheese – the Parmesan can be grated/shredded and kept refrigerated.
Leftover cauliflower should be refrigerated in an airtight container and enjoyed within 4 – 5 days.
These baking sheets have been in my kitchen for years, with no warping! Plus, they’re economical and come in a ton of different sizes!
Did you make this? Be sure to leave a review below and tag me @the_chunky_chef on Facebook and Instagram!
- 1 1/2 lbs cauliflower florets see "chef tips" note #2
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 – 2 cups grated Parmesan cheese freshly grated is best
- minced fresh parsley for garnish
- Preheat oven to 425°F and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper if desired. Set aside.
Combine spices and oil
- In a small bowl, add olive oil, paprika, Italian seasoning, black pepper, chili powder, and salt. Stir well combine.
Toss with cauliflower
- Add cauliflower florets to a large mixing bowl. Pour spice/oil mixture over the top and stir well combine, making sure each floret is coated.
- Transfer cauliflower to prepared baking sheet, adding the florets in a single layer, with a little space around each floret.
- Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle evenly with Parmesan cheese. Return to the oven and bake another 5 minutes, or until golden brown and cheese is melted (crisping a bit at the edges is even better).
- Serve hot, sprinkled with minced fresh parsley .
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- I’ve estimated this recipe serves approximately 4, but the exact size and amount of the servings is up to you.
- If you’re using a head of cauliflower, look for one weighing around 2 – 2 1/2 lbs. The estimated amount of cups of florets, is 4.
- For best results, try to have all the cauliflower florets be similar in size, so they cook evenly.
- All ovens cook differently, and florets can vary in size, so please use the cooking times as a guide, rather than strict timelines.
The Chunky Chef is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.